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Shoveling snow could increase risk of heart attack - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Shoveling snow could increase risk of heart attack

Posted: Dec 31, 2017 8:12 PM Updated:

There are a few problems that come with heavy snow, one being heart problems when shoveling.

MTN spoke with cardiologists from the Community Medical Center and the first thing they said was this weather is heart attack weather.

According to the Montana Heart Center, each year nearly 100 people in the US will die from shoveling snow.

Warning signs are discomfort in the chest, arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Not only is shoveling, especially heavy snow, a strenuous activity and causes blood pressure to increase, but doctors say in the winter it’s the cold air that makes for the perfect storm for a heart attack.

"Well, cold air we know can restrict your blood vessels because we’re trying to centralize the heat in our body," said Dr. Robert Minor, an interventional cardiologist. "But most importantly it's putting a strain on the heart that can cause a plaque rupture. Even a mild build of cholesterol on the wall of the artery can crack open and the body response to that and the blood clot can shut down the artery completely and cause a heart attack.

Doctors say if you are having any of these symptoms to call 911 immediately, as many victims die within the first hour.

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